Thursday 5 October 2017

Don't get sucked into the fitness-gadget hype!

Are you a sucker for every fitness gadget that comes out? I admit that I am (or at least I was), and I have a drawer full of old fitness gadgets, gizmos, and wearables to prove it.
The other day, I was frantically looking for a spare key. I didn’t find it. What I did find was a drawer filled with formerly loved but obviously now-discarded fitness gadgets.
The first item I pulled out of the drawer was the Jackie Chan Studio Fitness, a gizmo from 2005. Next was another old virtual fitness game, PlayStation 2 EyeToy Kinetic. The more I dug for the key, the more fitness gadgets I found, and soon I had three pedometers, two heart-rate monitors, a Fitbit, and a Microsoft Band.
I looked down at the discarded devices and thought to myself, “What an incredible waste of money!” and also that fitness devices are like new romances.
In the beginning, you fall in love. You religiously follow your fitness program every day. The only thing you can think of is your gizmo and how it’s going to help you achieve fitness nirvana.
The gizmo honeymoon phase is real and powerful — it’s just not sustainable. Like me, many people have purchased devices, but are they really using them?  According to researchers, most people who use fitness trackers tend to use them for about six months.
Hey, doesn’t that sound familiar? We’re attracted to the novelty of fitness gadgets and wearables and initially find these new and shiny products irresistible. But once the honeymoon phase is over, that gizmo is likely thrown in a drawer or box and never used again.
Which brings me to another question: How effective are these devices, anyway? Again, digging through the data, it appears that although many fitness trackers may provide accurate heart-rate monitoring data, many devices come up short and are wildly inaccurate when it comes to calories burned. Who knows what other inconsistencies there are? (And does it really matter when we generally discard the gadgets in about six months, anyway?)
At this point, you may be asking: How do I survive the end of my fitness gadget honeymoon phase? Ultimately, it comes down to discipline yourself. Period. Honestly, I find just keeping a consistent workout schedule and jotting down little reminders and notes in an old-fashioned calendar work best for me.
For sure, staying committed to your exercise and nutrition goals may never be easy. You will likely encounter challenges and setbacks along the journey, but that’s all right. When you fall off your fitness wagon, just brush off your knees and get back in the game. Don’t waste your time and energy getting upset, depressed, or angry with yourself — just get back in the game.

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